ZAWA spotlight on snake charmer

THE Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) says that it intends to issue a certificate of ownership to the man who unleashed a snake at Kabwata Police Station last week after allegedly running over a woman with a vehicle.
ZAWA public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe said the man identified as Rabson Mkandawire is currently co-operating with officers.
Mr Kalembwe said Mr Mkandawire will be guided on how to look after the snake after he is issued with the certificate of ownership.
“We have called for a meeting with Mr Mkandawire so that we can discuss how he can look after the snake properly and avoid causing panic among members of the public. We will meet him tomorrow [today] and we will be able to communicate the status. Right now, Mr Mkandawire says the snake is at a named burial site in Lusaka where he leaves it,” he said.
Mr Kalembwe said last week, Mr Mkandawire allegedly revealed during intense interrogation that he was given the spitting reptile by his grandfather in 1993 for protection and that the snake does not grow or die.
Mr Mkandawire said the snake would return to him even if ZAWA or anyone confiscated it.
“ZAWA decided to release the man as belief in witchcraft is unreasonable under the Laws of Zambia and ZAWA deals in scientific protection of endangered species and not witchcraft,” Mr Kalembwe said.
He, however, said Mr Mkandawire would be charged with possession of wildlife without a wildlife licence once ZAWA establishes that the snake is an endangered wildlife species.

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